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Fabio Hodo's picture

Are you preparing for your UMN adventure? Try iSuccess!

 

As you are preparing for your departure to the US and the University of Minnesota, it is normal to feel a bit anxious and scared about what life is going to be like here. But we are here to help. The ISSS recommends students to arrive by August 21, 2017. Classes start Tuesday, Sep 5th, but arriving early will give you enough time to overcome jet lag, get used to campus, remove registration holds and register for your classes. Luckily for you, there are a lot of stuff you can do around campus before classes start, and today we are going to talk about one of the: iSuccess

“This program has been designed to meet your needs as a new international student! By becoming a Minnesota Gopher ahead of time, you will get to explore the sights, sounds, history, entertainment and culture of the Twin Cities with current University of Minnesota students, staff and faculty as your guides. You will learn strategies for bridging cultural challenges and how to succeed at the University. iSuccess also provides an interactive, simulated U.S. higher education style classroom consisting of academic workshops, sessions, activities and exploration that gives you the skills and experiences you need to prepare for the school year.”


But for a more detailed description of what iSuccess does, I interviewed one of students who attended these events last year.

Can you please tell us your name, country of origin and major?
My name is Rigoberto Amaya, I am from Panama and I am a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering.

What are you thinking at this time last year, as you were preparing to come to the US for college?|
I was feeling a bit anxious and scared, which I guess is common for an 18 year old who is about to travel halfway around by himself (laughs).

How did you learn about iSuccess?

I learned about it by reading it online in ISSS page when I was reading about arrival of new international students. It sounded informative and a lot of fun, so I was like why not do it.

What made you want to do it?
I figured I'd get a head start learning about academics at the U, life in the US in general. I also saw it as an opportunity to meet new people before everything started so I'd have some close friends to begin with.

What was your favourite part of iSuccess?
My favourite part about iSuccess was exploring the new place I was gonna live with with these people who I just met. We toured Minneapolis by bus, went to the State Fair, canoed in Lake Calhoun and even went on a river cruise!

Did you make any friends?|
Yes, of course I made friends. Actually 2 of the Isuccess participants are people I meet with on a daily basis my first year.

Would you recommend new international students to attend iSuccess?
Definitely. It gave me a headstart not only in academics, by teaching me how to understand American classes and prepare for them, but also American culture and the Twin Cities. The student leaders were amazing and they gave us a tour of campus and showed us all the most fun things to do around here! It is definitely a must try.

                                                           (Marina Uehara, coordinator of iSuccess, and in the background the students struggling to keep up)